On Jan 27th 2011, Community Relations Coordinator for Sedona Recycles Meghan Kincheloe came to Arcosanti. She came on behalf of an invitation by Arcosanti Ceramics Department (Cosanti Originals) Manager David Hutchens. David who previously worked at Orme School as their sustainability coordinator. He has many contacts from his effort to improve the environmental sustainable of the private secondary school.
Sedona Recycles is a non-profit – based in Sedona, AZ. Meghan’s presentation to the Arcosanti Community focused on how we can improve our recycling program working with this unique local NGO. Sedona Recycles operates as a social enterprise deriving its funding from a mix of grants and also revenues from the sale of the materials it recycles.
The organization provides important recycling outreach and educational services for the nearby Verde Valley. It also employs about 30 locally developmentally disabled people at their sorting facility. Local recycling rates in the Verde Valley are relatively low about 13 percent as compared with the national rate of 30-35%. It worth noting that that bastion of liberalism San Francisco is a national leader recycling about 77 percent of their municipal waste stream.
She gave us lots of useful information about recycling that we are now considering as part of an effort by the community at Arcosanti to improve recycling rates and also to reduce the time and effort we currently devote to it. One of the things she discussed was the energy savings from recycling with the one biggest gains from the recycling of aluminum cans. The smelting process to convert bauxite to virgin aluminum is very energy intensive and also quite toxic.
Sedona Recycles has a system for accepting materials that we now recycle but they also take additional materials that we do not recycle. For example we currently recycle #1&2 plastic and they accept 1-7. They also don’t require that we sort it and that means significant time savings for us. Another improvement for us would be that they do not require the sorting of glass so that we save significant time and trouble for us.
- According to Sedona recycles website the local recycling rate for Yavapai County/Verde Valley was 11%: http://www.sedonarecycles.org
- Stats from Zero Waste American site indicate national municipal recycling rates in the range 30-35% http://www.zerowasteamerica.org/statistics.htm
- San Francisco is considered a national leader in the percentage of municipal waste that is recycled: http://www5.sfgov.org/sf_news/2010/08/san-francisco-achieves-77-landfill-diversion-rate-the-highest-of-any-us-city.html